Monthly Archives: February 2015

On Affect: from Deleuze to Bergson

Hung-Han Chen
Doctor of Arts seminar at Media Lab
Thursday, Feb 26, 2015, Miestentie 3, Room 429, from 17:00-19:00

From the phenomenological point of view, the relationships between body and world are considered in various ways including perception, affection and action. Bergson(1908) suggested that affect is a motor tendency on a sensitive nerve. In addition, the affect which occupies the gap between an action and a reaction, absorbs an external action and reacts on the inside.According to the interpretation by Deleuze, affect plays a role in cinemas as the affection-image. The affection-image is one type of signs in the non-linguistic sign system of cinemas. The affection-image is designated to affect as expressed by a face or a facial equivalent.

Deleuze’s interpretation of affect in 1980s has been taken into contemporary studies on media art. His semiotic taxonomy on cinemas is essential for film philosophy, which seeks to understand the most basic questions regarding films. Manovich adopts concepts from film philosophy to offer the first systematic and rigorous theory of new media. In addition, Hansen believes that Deleuze effectively dissolves the constitutive link of affect to the body and appropriates it to the movement-image. Hansen adopts the concept of affection-image to interpret the aesthetics of interactive art.However, these studies have only investigated new understanding of Bergson’s concepts. This has led to an overemphasis of interpretation in modern paradigm. To fill this gap, with the context of Deleuze’s interpretation of Bergson, the author tries to return to Bergson’s own texts and other related studies on affect in 1900s, examines the similar or different points of attitudes toward affect between Deleuze’s interpretation, Bergson himself, and other scholars who have a close relationship with Bergson.

This article manifests the theoretical characteristics and meanings of Bergson, Deleuze and other related researches ontologies in affect.

Slides: link

Keywords: Affect theory, Bergson, Deleuze, Phenomenology

Title of my research plan: In-Between-Ness: A Practice-led Study Rooted in the Concept of Affect in Bergsonian Metaphysics

This research derives concepts from affect theories in support of art ideas centered on digital representations in New Media Art. The research subject elaborates affect concepts created by French philosopher Henri Bergson in the 1900s and explains the conjunctions between affect and medium by a series of hypothesis. The art practices concentrate on transcoding Bergsonian metaphysics’s poetic logic into rational computer code and digital representations.

Keywords: Affect, Henri Bergson, Medium, Digital Representation, New Media Art, Software Art, Internet Art.

Embodied Cognition – Mark Johnson

Welcome to a lecture by Mark Johnson 

Knight Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department of Philosophy, University of Oregon

Embodied cognition: how we make and experience meaning through our sensory, motor, and affective processes.

TIME: Monday March 9, 2015 at 10-11
LOCATION: Room 215, Building 008 (Konetekniikka 1), Otakaari 4, Otaniemi, Espoo (number 8 at the campus map)

Mark writes” My interest in embodiment originally grew out of my work with George Lakoff on the nature of conceptual metaphors that define virtually all of our abstract concepts. We found that the source domains of these systematic metaphors typically involved aspects of our sensory-motor experience, such as the coactivation of our perception of changing in verticality correlated with judgments about changes in quantity, giving rise to the MORE IS UP metaphor. Considerations of this sort led me to think about the role of the body in the constitution of human meaning, conceptualization, and reasoning. Lakoff and I hypothesized that what we called “image schemas” – such as VERTICALITY, SOURCE-PATH-GOAL, BALANCE, CONTAINMENT, FORCE, INTENSITY, and so forth, play a key role in the structuring of our concrete and abstract concepts. I published some of this work in my book The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason (1987) and later with Lakoff in Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought (1999). In this latter book, we surveyed empirical evidence for the body bases of meaning and concepts, and we began to explore some of the emerging neuroscience evidence for this embodied cognition view” (


The Meaning of the Body: Aesthetics of Human Understanding, University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought (co-author George Lakoff), Basic Books, 1999

The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination and Reason, University of Chicago Press, 1987.

This event is organised by Crucible Studio, Department of Media @Aalto School of ARTS, and ABC Aalto Brain Centre @Aalto School of Science.

Pia Tikka
Dr. Researcher, Filmmaker
NeuroCine @ Crucible Studio
aivoAALTO research project
Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
– Department of Media
Finland mobile phone +358 50 4461184
Skype: piatikka

Recontextualizing Audiovisual Archives: Immigrants and Remixing practices

Thursday, 5 February 2015
17:00 – 19:00
Aalto Media Factory, Arabia
Dr. Mariana Salgado

How could immigrants interpret and enrich audiovisual cultural heritage through remix practices? How could new media design strategies support social inclusion? Guided by these two questions, I set up a series of participatory design explorations with immigrant groups living in Finland. The participants told stories reusing online audiovisual archive material. The analysis of these cases reveals that there is a need for new media design strategies for including the voices of immigrants in the archive.  I argue that social inclusion is seldom part of the new media design strategies for the development of these online archives.
Who could appropriate the archive for reuse? Who could add their own content and organize it? Design decisions are in the core of  current limitations of the online archives regarding their future development. The challenge for inclusive archives is to lift the barriers hindering the input of the general public, not only in regard to the content but also considering the design initiatives. This is a challenge because most of the efforts are devoted to conserve the material, while it could be also relevant to think about how and by whom the archives could be used in the future. In remixing online archival material, most often than not, priority is given to archivists and researchers. I demonstrate that planning and intentionality are required concerning the engagement of amateur practices and inputs for more inclusive audiovisual archives.

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Sennett, R. Together. The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation. Yale University Press, London.